Monday, January 27, 2014

Why We Follow Him

This might be a long read but I hope it's worth it for you. It was a very exhausting day yesterday. It's hard to explain the joy I felt yesterday at Jemo followed by the deepest sadness I can remember feeling. 

I started out the morning attending an awesome church service, the message to the Ethiopian congregation was about being mission minded and giving to others. I remind you that these people have nothing but yet at every opportunity they give of themselves. It reminded me why I fell in love with Ethiopia. I was invited up on stage and was asked to speak. Like Kristen said I get very nervous, but I spoke about how only God's love can bring two cultures so different together to form one family. The whole time I am thinking, if these people only knew how they have changed my families life. 

I then had the best time hugging our girls. They were happy to see me but it was very clear that Kristen was the one they really wanted to see. ha I love it though! She is such a nurturing woman, so I totally get it. 

Ok, so this is where my heart sinks... After the girls ran off I met with the director and Fikire to discuss a boy that Kristen had asked me to check on. The decision was made to bring him in so that I could see him. I was not prepared to see what I was about to see, even with the description Kristen had given me. As the boy walked in I could see how scared he was along with the pain he was in. I assured him the best I could that it was ok. They asked him to lift his shirt and OH WOW is the only thing I could muster up to think along with a gut wrenching feeling. They proceeded to ask him to lift his pant leg and that is when I almost broke into tears. His body looks as I can only describe as flesh eaten and raw, covering 100% of his lower body from waste down. Only a picture would explain the horror I was seeing. When I looked at his sweet face I saw a child that's spirit was broken. His pride shaken to the core. It was like I was looking into his soul. I can't shake the image. Honestly, I don't want to!!! I asked for permission to take photos, sent them to Kristen and our wonderful friend Lynne who is trying to get them in from of a dermatologist. I could not help but think, if this boy is not helped he will not be with us in a year or so. It was that bad. 

So when, people ask us why we want to go to Ethiopia. Today is why!!! How can I turn my back on that. 


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Women of Entoto

Women fuel wood carriers are among the poorest in Ethiopia, with average incomes of less than $12 a month. Approximately 60% are the head and sole support of their households. One third are between the ages of 10 and 19. Working under harsh conditions, the women carry bundles of eucalyptus branches weighing 75-80 pounds 18 miles down Mount Entoto to markets in Addis Ababa. Guards sometimes harass them, demand bribe money, or assault them sexually. Despite the risks to their health and safety, women fuel wood carriers have no choice. They lack the education and financial resources necessary to make income alternatives a reality.

8:7 Africa has the incredible opportunity to work alongside Connected in Hope Foundation working with dozens of the women who once carried 70-80 pound bundles of eucalyptus branches the 18 miles down the mountain to sell in the markets of Addis Ababa for a dollar. Overcoming enormous odds, 70 of the former fuel wood carriers now weave scarves and make baskets to earn income for their families. Currently, Connected in Hope supports their efforts by bringing their products to global markets and re-investing profits in programs that benefit the women and their families.

We are really looking forward to developing relationships with these women & their families!! March can't come soon enough!!

Visit to get involved and support our Ministry. Thank you to all you prayers and support.